Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 9

Amgen Inc. v. F. Hoffmann-LaRoche LTD et al Doc.

171
Case 1:05-cv-12237-WGY Document 171 Filed 12/15/2006 Page 1 of 9

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT


DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS

)
AMGEN INC., )
)
Plaintiff, )
) Civil Action No.: 05-12237 WGY
v. )
)
)
F. HOFFMANN-LA ROCHE )
LTD., a Swiss Company, ROCHE )
DIAGNOSTICS GmbH, a German )
Company and HOFFMANN-LA ROCHE )
INC., a New Jersey Corporation, )
)
Defendants. )
__________________________________________)

AMGEN’S REPLY BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF ITS MOTION TO


STRIKE ROCHE’S AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES NOS. 2, 7, 8, 10, AND 12
AND MEMORANDUM IN OPPOSITION TO ROCHE’S
MOTION FOR LEAVE TO AMEND ITS ANSWER

Amgen Inc. (“Amgen”) respectfully submits this reply brief (i) in support of its motion to

strike the 2nd, 7th, 8th, 10th, and 12th Affirmative Defenses in the Answer filed by Defendants F.

Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., Roche Diagnostics GmbH, and Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. (collectively

“Roche”) and (ii) in opposition to Roche’s motion for leave to amend its Answer.

1. Roche’s Inequitable Conduct defense should be stricken and Roche


should not be permitted to amend its Answer in the form proposed.

Roche’s original inequitable conduct allegations suffer from a glaring lack of

particularity, as its motion to amend tacitly acknowledges by adding 51 new paragraphs of

Dockets.Justia.com
Case 1:05-cv-12237-WGY Document 171 Filed 12/15/2006 Page 2 of 9

inequitable conduct allegations.1 Betrayed by the proposed amendment, Roche’s defense as

originally pled should be stricken.2 There being no reason to belabor the deficiencies of Roche’s

original pleading, Amgen will focus its reply on the failure of Roche to rectify those deficiencies

in its proposed amendment.

Roche’s original inequitable conduct allegations suffered from two glaring deficiencies:

(1) the failure to plead with particularity the “who, what, when, where, how” of each alleged

instance of inequitable conduct, and (2) the improper use of open-ended allegations to leave

unspecified the set of all acts, omissions, or misrepresentations that allegedly comprise its

inequitable conduct defense. Because Roche’s proposed amended Answer perpetuates both

deficiencies, Roche should not be permitted to amend its Answer in the form Roche proposes.

As the following examples demonstrate, Roche’s proposed amended Answer improperly

casts its allegations in opened-ended terms and, in so doing, creates uncertainty and ambiguity

about the set of acts, omissions, or misrepresentations that allegedly comprise its defense:

• “The patents-in-suit are unenforceable because individuals including, but not


limited to, Michael Borun, Steven Odre and Stuart Watt . . . .” (¶ 43) [Who else?]
• “As exemplified below, on numerous occasions during the prosecution of these
co-pending lines of applications, the examiner in one line of co-pending
applications issued rejections to claims . . . .” (¶ 55) [Who, what, when, where,
and how as to “exemplified below, on numerous occasions”? Who, what,
when, where, and how as to “rejections”?]
• “Amgen’s intent to deceive the patent office is further evidenced by the fact that
at least Amgen’s attorneys Steven Odre and Michael Borun . . . .” (¶ 57) [Who
else?]
• “Amgen, and those acting on its behalf who were substantively involved in the
prosecution of the patents-in-suit . . . .” (¶ 74) [Who acted on Amgen’s behalf?]

1
Roche’s 12/8/06 Mem. in Opp’n to Amgen’s Mot. to Strike, Ex. A at ¶¶ 38-88, Docket No. 161
[hereinafter “Roche’s Br.”].
2
Although Roche asserts that striking its defective allegations is not a proper remedy, the law is
plain that it is. See Systemation v. Engel Indus., Inc., 183 F.R.D. 49, 51-52 (D. Mass. 1998).

2
Case 1:05-cv-12237-WGY Document 171 Filed 12/15/2006 Page 3 of 9

• “Amgen and its representatives, in the course of foreign patent proceedings and
before the FDA, relied on statements and information . . . .” (¶ 76) [Who are “its
representatives”? What, when, where, and how as to “statements and
information”?]
• “Amgen’s knowing and intentional failure to disclose material information from
Amgen’s European opposition proceedings is evidenced at least by the direct
involvement of Amgen attorneys Steven Odre and Stuart Watt in those
proceedings . . . .” (¶ 83) [Who else? What else?]
• “In addition to the contradictory statements made by Amgen in the 1992 and 1994
Strickland declarations, Amgen and its employees, including even the named
inventor of the Amgen EPO patents, have made numerous statements, in
publications and to the FDA . . . .” (¶ 84) [Who are “its employees”? What,
when, where, and how as to the “numerous statements”?]
• “Additional internal documents from Dr. Egrie provide evidence regarding
glycosylation inconsistent with the positions that Amgen took during prosecution
of its patents. (See AM-ITC 00828987-88).” (¶ 87) [What, when, where, and how
as to the “additional internal documents”? What, when, where, and how as to
“the positions”?]
• “Additionally, in order to receive approval for its r-EPO drug, Amgen made
statements to the FDA that directly contradict the positions Amgen took in
arguing patentability of its EPO claims to the PTO.” (¶ 88) [What, when, where,
and how as to the “statements to the FDA”? What, when, where, and how as to
“the positions”?]

Roche’s use of such vague, open-ended language defeats the requirement that it state with

particularity both the substantive content of and all bases for its allegations. Such open-ended

allegations of inequitable conduct have been rejected in other patent cases. For example, in

Astra Aktiebolag v. Genpharm Inc., the defendant had identified the prior art allegedly withheld

to include “at least European Patent No. 124,495, Omeprazole Salts.”3 Plaintiff moved to strike

defendant’s inequitable conduct defense. The Astra court held that the open-ended phrase

“includes at least” did not sufficiently place plaintiff on notice of any other allegedly material

omissions and ordered that phrase stricken.4

3
2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2513, at *4 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 21, 2000) (emphasis added).
4
Id. at *4, 7.

3
Case 1:05-cv-12237-WGY Document 171 Filed 12/15/2006 Page 4 of 9

Roche’s repeated use of open-ended language defies both the letter and spirit of Rule

9(b)’s heightened pleading requirement. It wrongly implies that there are additional unstated

bases for its inequitable conduct defense without ever pleading with particularity what those

bases are. Such an artifice wrongly seeks to leave the door open for Roche to make a series of

further, as yet unspecified allegations.5 Roche, once and for all, must provide full and fair notice

to this Court and Amgen as to all of its theories and allegations underlying its inequitable

conduct defense. Amgen should not be forced to guess as to the basis of Roche’s defense nor

forced to investigate through discovery what other unstated and unarticulated bases Roche seeks

to assert.

Accordingly, Roche’s 7th Affirmative Defense for inequitable conduct in its original

Answer should be stricken, and Roche should not be permitted leave to amend its Answer to

contain the various offending open-ended terms and ill-defined allegations shown in Exhibit A

submitted herewith.6

2. Roche’s Patent Misuse and Unclean Hands defenses should be stricken.

Roche’s Opposition notwithstanding, its original and proposed amended Answers at most

allege nothing other than inequitable conduct as a basis for its patent misuse and unclean hands

defenses. To the extent that Roche’s 2nd and 8th Affirmative Defenses are based on inequitable

conduct, they too must be pled with particularity under Rule 9(b). Roche has not done so, as

discussed above, and these defenses should therefore be stricken.

5
See Stowe Woodward, LLC v. Sensor Prods., Inc., 230 F.R.D. 463, 468 (W.D. Va. 2005)
(“Parties may not draw in a series of unspecified allegations on the coattails of a single
particularized allegation.”).
6
Submitted herewith as Exhibit A are pages of Roche’s proposed amended Answer red-lined to
identify instances of defective pleading of inequitable conduct.

4
Case 1:05-cv-12237-WGY Document 171 Filed 12/15/2006 Page 5 of 9

3. Roche’s Damages Estoppel defense should be stricken.

Roche premises its damages estoppel defense upon the false dilemma that Amgen was

required to bring a claim for damages along with its claim for declaratory and injunctive relief,

or else forfeit any and all rights to damages. Yet, elsewhere, Roche contends it cannot infringe

Lin’s Patents — and hence can cause no damages — unless and until the FDA approves the sale

of peg-EPO.7 Even if Roche were to come forward and concede that it is currently infringing

Lin’s Patents — and is thus liable for damages — it cites no authority that required Amgen to

bring its damages claim simultaneously with its declaratory and injunctive relief claim. To the

contrary, as held in Edward B. Marks Music Corp. v. Charles K. Harris Music Publishing Co.,

Inc., 28 U.S.C. § 2202 permits a declaratory relief claimant to seek further relief — including

damages — after declaratory judgment has been entered.8

Significantly, Roche neither addresses 28 U.S.C. § 2202 nor distinguishes Amgen’s

authorities. It instead argues that a statement by Amgen’s counsel constituted an express waiver

of Amgen’s right to damages.9 But that statement, a response to the Court’s question as to

whether this is a “jury case,” merely clarified that Amgen’s current claim for declaratory and

injunctive relief should be resolved by this Court — not a jury: “As the claim is currently

framed, it’s an equitable case, it doesn’t require a jury. There’s no damage claim.”10 Nothing in

this statement waived Amgen’s right under § 2202 to seek “further relief” — including damages

— after declaratory judgment has been entered. Amgen has never said that there will never be a

7
See Roche’s 4/11/06 Mem. in Supp. of its Mot. to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter
Jurisdiction and Failure to State a Claim for which Relief May Be Granted at 11, Docket No. 45.
8
255 F.2d 518, 522-23 (2d Cir. 1958); see also Amgen’s 11/27/06 Mem. in Supp. of its Mot. to
Strike at 13, Docket No. 154 [hereinafter “Amgen’s Opening Br.”].
9
Roche’s Br. at 18.
10
5/10/06 Mot. Hr’g Tr. at 33:22-23, Docket No. 82 (emphasis added).

5
Case 1:05-cv-12237-WGY Document 171 Filed 12/15/2006 Page 6 of 9

claim for damages. If anything, by using the present tense and specifying “as currently framed,”

this statement serves to preserve Amgen’s right to subsequently seek damages, a position

underscored by the express allegations in Amgen’s Amended Complaint, which request “further

relief” and relief under “§§ 2201 and 2202.”11

Because Roche does not and cannot raise any legal or factual basis that estops Amgen

from seeking damages, its 10th Affirmative Defense should be stricken.

4. Roche’s Equitable Estoppel Defense should be stricken.

In its Opposition, Roche mischaracterizes Amgen’s argument as asserting that Roche’s

equitable estoppel defense must be pled with particularity. As Amgen explained in its motion,

however, the defect in Roche’s equitable estoppel defense lies in Roche’s failure and inability to

plead any facts sufficient to sustain it. The defense of equitable estoppel requires proof of three

essential elements: (1) misleading conduct by the patentee, (2) reliance thereon by the alleged

infringer, and (3) material prejudice to the alleged infringer.12 Nowhere does Roche allege any

specific act or statement of Amgen on which it reasonably relied to its detriment in bringing peg-

EPO to market. Indeed, as Roche publicly admitted in 2003, it “should expect that [Amgen] will

take us to court.”13 The failure of Roche’s Opposition to address this admission is dispositive.

Because Roche cannot possibly contend that it reasonably relied to its detriment upon any act or

statement by Amgen, its equitable estoppel defense should be stricken.

11
Amgen’s 4/25/06 Am. Compl. For Declaratory J. of Infringement Prayer for Relief at ¶ d, ¶ 7,
Docket No. 52. Notably, Roche itself seeks this form of relief in its own counterclaims against
Amgen. Roche’s 12/8/06 Mem. in Opp’n to Amgen’s Mot. to Dismiss Roche’s Countercls. at 3,
Docket No. 162.
12
A.C. Aukerman Co. v. R.L. Chaides Constr. Co., 960 F.2d 1020, 1028 (Fed. Cir. 1992).
13
4/25/06 Decl. of Michael R. Gottfried, Ex. 19, Docket No. 54.

6
Case 1:05-cv-12237-WGY Document 171 Filed 12/15/2006 Page 7 of 9

Seeking to divert attention away from its admission, Roche instead proffers the red

herring that the 1998 Ortho/Aranesp® arbitration and 2001 settlement negotiations somehow

misled it to believe that Amgen would not sue Roche as to its infringing peg-EPO activities.

Setting aside for now Roche’s misrepresentation of these events, they both occurred long before,

and plainly had no effect upon, Roche’s clear expectation in 2003 that Amgen would sue it for

infringement of the Lin Patents. Notably, neither Roche’s original Answer nor its proposed

amended Answer incorporates its characterization of these events into its equitable estoppel

defense.

Roche cannot have it both ways: it cannot complain that Amgen “has vigorously

enforced its patent portfolio against other companies for the past twenty years,”14 including

Roche’s licensor and subsidiary,15 state publicly that it expected to get sued by Amgen, and then

claim surprise at having been sued. As no interest is served by requiring the parties to address

such an absurd and fruitless defense, Roche’s 12th Affirmative Defense should be stricken.

For the foregoing reasons, Amgen respectfully requests that:

1. The Court strike Roche’s 2nd (patent misuse), 7th (inequitable conduct), 8th
(unclean hands), 10th (damages estoppel), and 12th (equitable estoppel)
Affirmative Defenses; and

2. Should Roche be permitted an opportunity to amend its Answer, it should not be


permitted leave to amend in the form proposed. Amgen respectfully requests that
Roche be ordered to:

(a) specify “the who, what, when, where, and how” of all alleged
misrepresentations and omissions;

(b) eliminate all instances of open-ended language and unspecified allegations in


the manner set forth in Exhibit A submitted herewith; and

14
Roche’s 11/6/06 Counterclaims at ¶ 27, Docket No. 140.
15
Amgen’s Opening Br. at 17.

7
Case 1:05-cv-12237-WGY Document 171 Filed 12/15/2006 Page 8 of 9

(c) plead with particularity the factual bases for its misuse and unclean hands
defenses to the extent that they are based on allegations of inequitable
conduct.

Dated: December 15, 2006 Respectfully Submitted,


AMGEN INC.,
By its attorneys,

Of Counsel: /s/ Michael R. Gottfried


D. Dennis Allegretti (BBO#545511)
Stuart L. Watt Michael R. Gottfried (BBO# 542156)
Wendy A. Whiteford Patricia R. Rich (BBO# 640578)
Monique L. Cordray DUANE MORRIS LLP
Darrell G. Dotson 470 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 500
MarySusan Howard Boston, MA 02210
Kimberlin L. Morley Telephone: (617) 289-9200
AMGEN INC. Facsimile: (617) 289-9201
One Amgen Center Drive
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-1789 Lloyd R. Day, Jr.
(805) 447-5000 DAY CASEBEER, MADRID & BATCHELDER LLP
20300 Stevens Creek Boulevard, Suite 400
Cupertino, CA 95014
Telephone: (408) 873-0110
Facsimile: (408) 873-0220

William Gaede III


McDERMOTT WILL & EMERY
3150 Porter Drive
Palo Alto, CA 94304
Telephone: (650) 813-5000
Facsimile: (650) 813-5100

Michael F. Borun
Kevin M. Flowers
MARSHALL, GERSTEIN & BORUN LLP
233 South Wacker Drive
6300 Sears Tower
Chicago, IL 60606
Telephone: (312) 474-6300
Facsimile: (312) 474-0448

8
Case 1:05-cv-12237-WGY Document 171 Filed 12/15/2006 Page 9 of 9

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

I hereby certify that this document, filed through the ECF system will be sent

electronically to the registered participants as identified on the Notice of electronic filing and

paper copies will be sent to those indicated as non-registered participants on December 15, 2006.

/s/ Michael R. Gottfried


Michael R. Gottfried